6 rules of management communication that work

I am often asked about the most important principles of leadership communication. While effectiveness varies by person or situation, there are a number of proven fundamentals that make the difference between simply sharing information and communicating that will get people to action (and make them feel great). Perhaps we should call this principle-centered communication.

6 Basic Communication Principles For Managers To Make You Stand Out As A Leader

Principle 1: Communicate with integrity

  • They want to know what you have to say, but more importantly, who you are and what you stand for.
  • People are more likely to trust you when your actions are what you say. Better yet, do what you say before you say it. Lead by example.
  • You are a valued messenger. You make or break the news.

Principle 2: Take the time to communicate and make the most of this time

  • If you say you don't have time to communicate, you don't have time to guide.
  • If the message is important enough, it deserves face-to-face communication, or at least voice-to-voice.

Principle 3: think about the basics

  • Always speak the truth without exception.
  • First, divide the “big picture”. It helps everyone start with the same knowledge base.
  • Cover the basic questions employees have first – who, what, where, when, why, and how.
  • Constantly communicate the “why” in order to make measures meaningful. Always answer the question, "What's in it for me?" and "Why should I care?"
  • Tell people what to do and help them do it.
  • Ask questions. Employees want their opinion to be heard.
  • If you don't know, say so.

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Principle 4: use stories

  • Tell stories because they create meaning and can be shared. The right anecdote can be worth a thousand theories or facts and is more likely to be remembered.
  • Make your stories memorable and keep them fresh and relevant.
  • Listen to the stories of the employees. You can learn a lot about them and their thoughts by saying what they say and what stories they tell.

Principle 5: Build trust and credibility

  • Be visible and accessible. You have to be seen to be trustworthy.
  • Take the time to explain yourself and your thinking. Make yourself predictable for your employees.
  • Employees will follow you if you really make them feel good about themselves and show an honest appreciation for who they are and what they do for the company.
  • Regularly ask for the opinions of your employees. Engage them openly and unreservedly. You might be surprised at what you learn.
  • Create opportunities for conversations that create understanding and spread knowledge and expertise.

Principle 6: Check for understanding

  • The job will not be executed when the message is sent. Make sure it's heard and really understood.
  • Go beyond answering questions. Think of this as an opportunity to respond to people, address their problems, and show them that you care.
  • Ask questions to staff to check their understanding and really listen to what they are saying.

What one or two principles do you need to work on to make a significant difference for your employees?

– David Grossman

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